Press Information Bureau for IAS/UPSC Exam
Weekly Analysis May 22-31 2020
National Career Service (NCS) Project
- The Ministry of Labour and Employment has started offering free online career skills training through its National Career Service (NCS) project for job-seekers registered with it.
- The training module is available in Hindi and English on the NCS portal.
- launched in partnership with TCS iON ( a unit of Tata Consultancy Services)
About NCS Project:
- It is a Five Year Mission Mode Project
- It is within the umbrella of the e-governance plan.
- transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of employment related services like job search, job matching, career counselling, vocational guidance, information on skill development courses, apprenticeship, internships etc. through an on-line portal.
- Online Job Fairs where the complete cycle from job posting to selection of candidate can be completed on the portal.
- offers the functionality of creation of video profiles for job-seekers in partnership with HIREMEE, a platform which provides online assessment and hiring services. Job-seekers can showcase their ability to recruiters using short video clips. All services on NCS are free.
United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award
- Major Suman Gawani, an Indian Army officer who served as a peacekeeper with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in 2019, has won the prestigious “United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award”.
About the Award
- recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles within the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
About South Sudan
- a landlocked country in East-Central Africa
- bordered to the east by Ethiopia, to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to the south-west by Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south by Uganda and to the south east by Kenya.
International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
- observed on 29thMay every year to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
- 2020 Theme –Women in Peacekeeping: A key to Peace
- Recently, the foundation stone for a missile park “Agneeprastha“ was laid at INS Kalinga.
About the Park
- A 2 MegaWatts (MW) solar photovoltaic plantwas also commissioned at INS Kalinga.
- aims to capture glimpses of missile historyof INS Kalinga from its establishment in 1981 till date.
- dedicated to all the officers, sailors and support staff of INS Kalinga.
- set up with a replica of missiles and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) that showcase the evolution of missiles handled by the unit.
- The main attraction is P-70 ‘Ametist’, an underwater launched anti-ship missile
- one-stop arena for motivation and stimulation of inquisitive minds regarding the missiles and related technologies, from school children to Naval personnel and their families.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar)
- On 28th May, India paid tribute to the freedom fighter, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) on his birth anniversary.
- Founded a secret society called Abhinav Bharat Society.
- Went to the United Kingdom and was involved with organizations such as India House (founded by Shyamji Kishan Vermain 1905 in London) and the Free India Society (a political organization of Indian students in England-Founding leader, Madam Bhikaji Cama)
- Involved in the formation of Hindu Mahasabha.
- Savarkar wrote a book titled ‘The History of the War of Indian Independence’in which he wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.
- He also wrote the book‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’.
- Arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform (Indian Councils Act 1909)
Umang Mobile App
- Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has added the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) weather services to the Umang Mobile App.
- users will be able to check the weather forecast of their city in advance
- including current weather, rainfall information, warnings, cyclones, humidity, sunrise, sunset, temperature
- significant for the farmersto get timely updates regarding the weather conditions
- prevention of lives, livelihood and loss of propertydue to extreme weather conditions
About the App
- a Government of India all-in-one single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app
- a Digital India initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched in 2017.
- all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies including private organizations and other citizen centric services.
- a unified approach where citizens can install one application to avail multiple government services.
Aarogya Setu is now open source
- Recently, the source code of Aarogya Setu Mobile App has been made open source for software developers.
About the App
- India launched Aarogya Setu mobile App to augment the efforts of limiting the spread of Covid-19.
- developed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT
- objective of enabling bluetooth based contact tracing and mapping of likely hotspots and dissemination of relevant information about Covid-19.
What does an open-source software mean?
- Software can be divided into two broad categories, proprietary and open source.
- Any software that has to be bought or licensed from the creator of the software is called a proprietary or closed-source software. Examples include Microsoft Windows, Google Earth and Adobe Photoshop.
- The intellectual property rights of the software, even if bought or licensed, remains with the creator.
- Open-source software requires no licensing and need not be bought.
- Its source code is open for everyone to download, examine, redistribute, and improve upon if they can, with an acknowledgment to the original software coder or the company. Examples of such software are WordPress, VLC Media Player, and the Mozilla browser.
- While making the code Open Source, Government of India also seeks the developer community to help identify any vulnerabilities or code improvement in order to make Aarogya Setu more robust and secure.
Bug Bounty Programme
- Towards this objective, Government has also launched a Bug Bounty Programme with a goal to partner with security researchers and Indian developer community to test the security effectiveness of Aarogya Setu and also to improve or enhance its security and build user’s trust.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy(SERS)
- Researchers at Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) Mohali, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) have found a straightforward and unique route to fabricate precisely controlled nanostructures of desired geometry and location on 2D materials, through a rapid one-step low power laser writing process.
About the Platform
- In order to overcome this, the INST group developed a hybrid Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy(SERS) platform of Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2)nanostructure decorated with gold nanoparticles, where direct laser writing is used to engineer the artificial edges on the surface of MoS2.
- This created localized hotspots with remarkable precision and control.
- Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique for molecular detection and characterization that relies on the enhanced Raman scattering of molecules that are adsorbed on SERS-active surfaces, such as nanostructured gold or silver.
World Turtle Day 2020
- Recently, World Turtle Day was observed on 23rd May to increase attention on conservation of Turtles and Tortoises.
- The theme for the World Turtle Day 2020 is ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’.
- More than 41% amphibian, 31% Coral and 33% fish species are now extinct.
Turtle Conservation in India
- There are five species in Indian waters i.e. Olive Ridley, Green turtle, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback.
- The Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Loggerhead are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- The Hawksbill turtle is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ and Green Turtle is listed as ‘Endangereed‘ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- They are protected in Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, under Schedule I.
- Turtles have been protected in India under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation programme.
- Recently Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) has revealed that tea chemicals could be effective in boosting immunity as they can block coronavirus activity better than anti-HIV drugs.
- Tea catechins production process which has been transferred to M/s Baijnath Pharmaceuticals, and Ready to Serve Teas and Tea wines which could be game changer for Kangra tea.
About Kangra Tea
- Kangra tea is grown in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
- It is well known for its unique colour and flavour.
- Kangra tea has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
- It is loaded with antioxidants like catechins and polyphenols, and said to offer these health benefits: promotes weight loss, builds immunity, improves oral health and mental alertness, etc.
- It is also used in making sentizers, soap, vinegar, wine etc.
- Recently Katkari tribal youth from Shahpur in Maharashtra are making a name by selling Giloy and other products online during lockdown.
- a medicinal plant with huge demand from pharmaceutical companies.
- Called गुडूची in Ayurveda, used in medicines
- treat various kinds of fever (viral fever, malaria, etc.) as well as diabetes.
- used in extract form, powder form or cream.
About Katkari Tribe
- one of the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, as per the classification by Ministry of Home Affairs.
- located primarily in Maharashtra as well as in some places of Gujarat.
- 75 such groups of tribals in 18 States and one Union Territory have been identified and categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
- Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is a retail marketing led value addition plan for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), meant for forest-based tribes to optimize the tribal income, locally. Under the program, MFP-based tribal groups / enterprises of around 300 members are formed for collection, value addition, packaging & marketing of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs).
- MFP means all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, gums, waxes, dyes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, honey, lac, tusser etc.
- TRIFED supports the VDVKs through providing them with model business plans, processing plans & tentative list of equipment for carrying out the value addition work of MFPs.
”Shahi Lichi” and “Zardalu Mango”
- The Government of Bihar has partnered with the Department of Posts to supply ”Shahi Lichi” and “Zardalu Mango” to the people at doorstep.
About ‘Shahi Lichi
- a variety of lichi that is grown in Muzaffarpur and has high pulp and is juicier compared to the litchi grown in other parts of the country.
- India is the second largest producer of lichi in the world after China and Bihar is the leading state for lichi production in the country.
- accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag recognition in 2018.
- commonly blamed for the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Bihar.
About Zardalu Mango:
- a unique mango variety from Bhagalpur.
- known for its light yellow skin and distinct special aroma.
- accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2018.
- Textiles Committee, Mumbai will now test and certify the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) body coveralls required for healthcare workers and other Covid-19 warriors.
About Textiles Committee:
- The Textiles Committee is a statutory body established in 1963 through an Act of Parliament and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles.
- It has been formed to ensure the quality of textiles and textile machinery both for internal consumption and export purpose.
- It is tasked with the functions of establishing laboratories for the testing of textiles and textile machinery. It provides for their inspection and examination.
- The Chairman of the Committee is nominated by the Government.
Ecologically Sensitive Area
- Recently, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change interacted with Chief Ministers of six states through a video conference to discuss issues relating to notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to Western Ghats.
- Eco-Sensitive Areas (ESAs)are located within 10 kmsaround Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
- ESAs are notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) underEnvironment Protection Act 1986.
- The basic aim is to regulate certain activities around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries so as to minimise the negative impacts of such activities on the fragile ecosystem encompassing the protected areas.
About Western Ghats
- extend from the Satpura Range in the north, stretching from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu.
- traversing the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- Anamudi is the highest peak
- major river systems originating in the Western Ghats are the Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Thamiraparani and Tungabhadra rivers. Netravathi river has also its origin at Western Ghats of India flowing westwards to join Arabian sea
- Important Lakes-Pookode lake, Ooty, Letchmi
- Important hydro-electric projects-Koyna Hydroelectric Project in Maharashtra, the Parambikulam and Idukki Dam in Kerala, and the Linganmakki Dam in Karnataka
- Waterfalls-Jog Falls, Kunchikal Falls, Dudhsagar Falls, Sivasamudram Falls, and Unchalli Falls.
- Biodiversity-Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Mudumalai National Park (TN), SathyaMangalam TR (TN)
- The Gadgil Committee and its successor, the Kasturirangan Committee, recommended suggestions to protect the Western Ghats.
- a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- one of the eight hot-spots of biological diversity in the world.
- Threatened species are the critically endangered Malabar large-spotted civet, the endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, Bengal tiger and Indian elephants, the vulnerable Indian leopard, Nilgiri langur and gaur.
- 325 globally threatened (IUCN Red Data List) species occur
- Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure. These were related to speeding up road construction, leading to socio economic development in the border areas.
Three Important Recommendations:
- Outsource road construction work beyond optimal capacity of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
- Introduction of modern construction plants, equipment and machinery
- New Technology like blasting technology for precision blasting, use of Geo-Textiles for soil stabilisation, cementitious base for pavements, plastic coated aggregates for surfacing, is also being used to enhance the pace of construction.
- Ministry of Culture’s National Gallery of Modern Art organised virtual tour titled “Ramkinkar Baij | Journey through silent transformation and expressions” to commemorate the 115th Birth Anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij.
- one of the most seminal artists of modern India, was an iconic sculptor, painter and graphic artist.
- In 1925, he made his way to Kala Bhavana, the art school at Santiniketan and was under the guidance of Nandalal Bose.
- Encouraged by the liberating, intellectual environment of Santiniketan, his artistic skills and intellectual horizons blossomed, thus acquiring greater depth and complexity.
- Soon after completing his studies at Kala Bhavana he became a faculty member, and along with Nandalal Bose and Benodebehari Mukherjee played a pivotal role in making Santiniketan one of the most important centres for modern art in pre-Independent India.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Rs 20,050-crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable development of fisheries sector over next five years.
Aims and objectives of PMMSY
- Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
- Enhancing of fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water
- Modernizing and strengthening of value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement
- Doubling fishers and fish farmers incomes and generation of employment
- Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports
- Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers
- Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework
Some facts about Fishery in India
- Constituting about 7.73% of the global fish production
- second largest aquaculture
- 4th largest fish exporting nation in the world.
- The Gross Value Added (GVA) of fisheries sector in the national economy during 2018-19 constituted 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA.
- India has registered an average annual growth of 7.53% during last 5 years
- The ‘fisheries and aquaculture sector’ is recognized as the sunshine sector in Indian agriculture.
- Fishery is a State subject.
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification regarding the emission norms for L7 (Quadricycle) category for BS-VI.
What is Quadricycle Vehicle verification?
- The quadricycle is a European Union vehicle category for four-wheeled microcars, which allows these vehicles to be designed to less stringent requirements when compared to regular cars.
- Quadricycles are defined by limitations in terms of weight, engine power and speed.
- There are two categories of quadricycles: light quadricycles (L6e) and heavy quadricycles (L7e)
- a quadricycle is the size of a three-wheeler but with four tyres and is fully covered like a car. “It has an engine like that of a three-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last-mile connectivity.”
Chamba Tunnel and Chardham Project
- The Chamba Tunnel constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under Chardham Project was recently inaugurated.
About Char Dham Project?
- The Char Dham project consists of widening and repairing 889-kilometres of national highways leading to revered shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
- It is a proposed two-lane expresses National Highway with a minimum width of 10 metres in the state of Uttarakhand.
- The project includes 900 km national highways will connect whole of Uttarakhand state.
About Chamba Tunnel
- a Horseshoe type tunnel with 10-metre carriageway width and 5.5m vertical clearance.
- a 440 m long Tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway (NH 94).